Plaque at home of Patrick Pearse unveiled by Lord Mayor

The home of Patrick Pearse and his family in Sandymount, Dublin, has been marked by a Dublin City Council Commemorative Plaque.

The plaque was unveiled by Lord Mayor Alison Gilliland at 13 Sandymount Avenue, Dublin 4, on 29th April 2022.

Pearse’s father, James Pearse, was a monumental sculptor who moved to Dublin around 1860. The family originally lived over the shop in Great Brunswick Street (now Pearse Street) before moving to Sandymount. Their first address in the area was on Newbridge Avenue, and they moved to 5 Georgian Villas, now number 13 Sandymount Avenue, in 1900. James Pearse made the altar railings for the Star of the Sea Church, on Sandymount Road.

Patrick Henry Pearse (1879-1916) was an Irish teacher, barrister, poet, writer, nationalist and political activist. Aside from his prominent role in the Easter Rising (for which he was executed on 3rd May 1916), he is best remembered as the author of The Murder Machine pamphlet on ‘the English education system in Ireland’ (Dublin, 1916), and his founding of the Irish language school St. Enda’s in Rathfarnham (which he ran during the last eight years of his life).

Pearse lived in Sandymount during a formative period in his life, when he was training to be a barrister, became one of the key figures in the Gaelic League, and took on responsibility for the family on the death of his father.

The terrace of houses at Sandymount Avenue was built in 1864 and residents over the years included W.B. Yeats and Abbey playwright TC Murray, who are both commemorated with plaques.

Speaking at the unveiling, Lord Mayor Alison Gilliard said:

We have many, many memorials around Dublin, commemorating women (not as many as we should have), and men, and events of the past. Most of them, the vast majority of them, are in the City Centre. But great lives are lived in all parts of the City, and it is important that these places be commemorated, as well as those whose memories are marked in the streets of the City Centre.

The decision to erect the plaque was made by the Dublin City Council Commemorations & Naming Committee, whose chair, Councillor Micheál Mac Donncha, said:

‘The Commemorative Plaques scheme allows the City to formally commemorate people who have made a significant contribution to the life of Dublin. We welcome suggestions from the public for people and events to be commemorated, and full details are on the Council website’.

Pearse, Patrick

This plaque commemorates Patrick Pearse, who lived with his family at 13 Sandymount Avenue, Dublin 4.

Pearse’s father, James Pearse, was a monumental sculptor who moved to Dublin around 1860. The family originally lived over the shop in Great Brunswick Street (now Pearse Street) before moving to Sandymount. Their first address in the area was on Newbridge Avenue, and they moved to 5 Georgian Villas, now number 13 Sandymount Avenue, in 1900. James Pearse made the altar railings for the Star of the Sea Church, on Sandymount Road.

Patrick Henry Pearse (1879-1916) was an Irish teacher, barrister, poet, writer, nationalist and political activist. Aside from his prominent role in the Easter Rising (for which he was executed on 3rd May 1916), he is best remembered as the author of The Murder Machine pamphlet on ‘the English education system in Ireland’ (Dublin, 1916), and his founding of the Irish language school St. Enda’s in Rathfarnham (which he ran during the last eight years of his life).

Pearse lived in Sandymount during a formative period in his life, when he was training to be a barrister, became one of the key figures in the Gaelic League, and took on responsibility for the family on the death of his father.

The terrace of houses at Sandymount Avenue was built in 1864 and residents over the years included W.B. Yeats and Abbey playwright TC Murray, who are both commemorated with plaques.

The plaque was proposed by Kathleen O’Callaghan, owner of the house, and it was unveiled by Lord Mayor Alison Gilliland, on 29th April, 2022.

Jane Wilde, ‘Speranza’, plaque unveiled by Lord Mayor

Poet Caoimhe Lavelle, author Eleanor Fitzsimons, Lord Mayor Alison Gilliland, and Dr Joe Rooney, at the unveiling of the plaque to Jane Wilde.

Jane Wilde, a poet, nationalist and promoter of women’s rights has been honoured by a Dublin City Council Commemorative Plaque.

The plaque was unveiled by Lord Mayor Alison Gilliland on 19th November 2021 at 1 Merrion Square, Dublin 2, now owned by the American College Dublin.

Born in 1821, Jane Wilde was a polyglot who translated works from German and French. Inspired by Thomas Davis she became a nationalist and from 1846 contributed to the Nation, writing underthe pen name Speranza.

Among her poems in the Nation was ‘The Famine Year’, her response to the Great Famine, in which she criticised her own Anglo-Irish landlord class.

In 1848 her piece ‘Jacta Alea Est’ (‘the die is cast’), was seen by the authorities as so inflammatory that it led to the suppression of the Nation.

Living at 1 Merrion Square, Dublin, her weekly literary salons put her at the centre of Dublin’s cultural life. She continued her salons in London, where she lived following the death of her husband, Sir William Wilde, in 1876.

Speaking at the unveiling, Lord Mayor Alison Gilliland remarked:

‘Jane Wilde was not only a poet and a nationalist: she was also a feminist, an articulate advocate of women’s rights, who identified education, and access to education, as being key to the advancement of women’.

Noting that the house is now the home of a college, the Lord Mayor said:

‘Many of the students in the building behind us are following courses in creative writing, and I can’t help but think that Jane Wilde would be delighted that her drawing room is once again a hive of culture and creativity.’

Proposed by the American College Dublin, the plaque joins existing ones which commemorate her husband, Sir William Wilde, and her son Oscar. Also at the unveiling was the President of the American College Dublin, Dr Joseph Rooney, who flew over from Delaware for the event. Dr Rooney remarked:

The plaque honouring Lady Jane Wilde Speranza is long overdue and we are proud that it will be displayed in such a prestigious manner at One Merrion Square. Jane was a hero to the Irish people during the 1840s and an important part of the Young Ireland movement. With her salons and other gatherings Speranza created an open house within these walls for more than two decades and American College Dublin intends to continue this tradition.

Echoing the Lord Mayor, Dr Rooney concluded:

I think Jane would be delighted that the house is now a place of learning, and it is particularly poignant that it is possible to study creative writing and performing arts here in Speranza’s old home.’

The decision to erect the plaque was made by the Dublin City Council Commemorations & Naming Committee, whose chair, Councillor Michael Mac Donncha, said:

‘The Commemorative Plaques scheme allows the City to formally commemorate people who have made a significant contribution to the life of Dublin. This is only the sixth of our commemorative plaques to honour a woman, and we hope to see many more such applications in the future’.

The audience at the unveiling heard Eleanor Fitzsimons, author of Wilde’s Women, talk about the life of Jane Wilde, and poet Caoimhe Lavelle performed one of Lady Wilde’s poems and her own, specially composed tribute, ‘A Toast to Speranza’.

Wilde, Lady Jane ‘Speranza’

Photograph of a Dublin City Council commemorative plaque to Jane Lady Wilde 'Speranza'.

This plaque commemorates Jane Wilde, poet, feminist, and nationalist.

Born in 1821, Jane Wilde was a polyglot who translated works from German and French. Inspired by Thomas Davis and the Young Ireland movement, she became a nationalist and from 1846 contributed to their journal The Nation, writing under the pen names Speranza and John Fanshawe Ellis.

Among her poems in the Nation was ‘The Famine Year’, her response to the Great Famine, in which she criticised her own Anglo-Irish landlord class.

In 1848, her piece ‘Jacta Alea Est’ (‘the die is cast’) was seen by the authorities as so inflammatory that it led to the suppression of the Nation.

Living at 1 Merrion Square, Dublin, her weekly literary salons put her at the centre of Dublin’s cultural life. She continued her salons in London, where she lived following the death of her husband, Sir William Wilde, in 1876.

An advocate for women’s rights, she campaigned for greater access to education for women.

The woman of the future will never again be the mere idol of a vain worship, the petted toy of a passing hour; She takes her place now in the world on higher grounds than physical beauty, and will gain nobler triumphs…

Lady Wilde, Social Studies (London, 1893), pp 94-5.

Proposed by the American College Dublin, the plaque joins existing ones which commemorate her husband , Sir William Wilde, and her son, Oscar, on the house where she lived until 1876.

The plaque was unveiled by Lord Mayor Alison Gilliland on 19th November 2021.

Douglass, Frederick – Anti-Slavery Leader

Photograph of a Dublin City Council plaque commemorating Frederick Douglass

This plaque commemorates Frederick Douglass, the anti-slavery leader, who visited Dublin in 1845, at the IFI on Eustace Street, Dublin 2.

Locate this plaque on Google maps.

Born into slavery in 1818, Frederick Douglass escaped and in 1845 published his autobiography Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave, Written by Himself. The book’s popularity in Europe, and fear of being captured and returned to slavery, led Douglass to visit Ireland and the UK in 1845/47.

Douglass returned to the USA a free man in 1847, and went on to become a leading abolitionist, a newspaper proprietor, and a government official. Renowned as an orator, through his writings, speeches, and photographs, he boldly challenged the racial stereotypes of African Americans. He was the most photographed man in 19th century America.

While in Ireland Frederick Douglass met Daniel O’Connell, a firm opponent of slavery, and the two men spoke at O’Connell’s Conciliation Hall, on Burgh Quay.

Douglass was a guest of Dublin’s Quaker Community, and in September 1845 he spoke at the old Friends’ Meeting House in Eustace Street, now the Irish Film Institute.

The plaque was unveiled on Thursday 21st October 2021, by Lord Mayor Alison Gilliland.

Frederick Douglass honoured by Dublin City Council

Cecelia Hartsell and Lord Mayor Alison Gilliland at the unveiling of the Frederick Douglass plaque

Frederick Douglass, the anti-slavery leader who visited Dublin in 1845, has been honoured by a Dublin City Council Commemorative Plaque.

The plaque was unveiled on Thursday 21st October 2021 by Lord Mayor Alison Gilliland at the Irish Film Institute, Eustace Street, Temple Bar, formerly the Friends’ Meeting House.

Speaking at the unveiling, historian Cecelia Hartsell outlined Frederick Douglass’s life, his escape from slavery, the publication of his autobiography, and his visit to Dublin.

Born into slavery in 1818, Frederick Douglass escaped and in 1845 published his autobiography Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave, Written by Himself. The book’s popularity in Europe, and fear of being captured and returned to slavery, led Douglass to visit Ireland and the UK in 1845/47.

Douglass returned to the USA a free man in 1847, and went on to become a leading abolitionist, a newspaper proprietor, and a government official. Renowned as an orator, through his writings, speeches, and photographs, he boldly challenged the racial stereotypes of African Americans. He was the most photographed man in 19th century America.

While in Ireland Frederick Douglass met Daniel O’Connell, a firm opponent of slavery, and the two men spoke at O’Connell’s Conciliation Hall, on Burgh Quay.

Douglass was a guest of Dublin’s Quaker Community, and in September 1845 he spoke at the old Friends’ Meeting House in Eustace Street, now the Irish Film Institute.

I am proud that Dublin City is honouring the memory of Frederick Douglass here today, with a plaque that tells all who see it that back in 1845, he found himself welcomed with, in his own words, ‘a total absence of all manifestations of prejudice…’ and was treated not as ‘as a colour, but as a man.’

Lord Mayor Alison Gilliland speaking at the unveiling.

Also speaking at the unveiling was the chair of the Irish Film Institute, Professor Margaret Kelleher, who said:

‘On 9th September 1845, in this building which is now home to the IFI, Frederick Douglass delivered a stirring oration against slavery and in defence of human liberty. We at the IFI are very proud to mark today not only such a historic event but also his continuing legacy and inspiration.’

Councillor Mícháel Mac Donncha and Professor Margaret Kelleher at the unveiling of the Frederick Douglass plaque.
Cllr Mac Donncha and Professor Kelleher. Photo Chris Bellew /Fennell Photography Copyright 2021

The plaque was proposed by Councillor Mícheál Mac Donncha, chair of the Dublin City Council Commemorations & Naming Committee. Councillor Mac Donncha said:

‘This plaque to Frederick Douglass sees the great African-American anti-slavery leader recognised by our City for his immense contribution to human liberty and progress. It is appropriate that this site links the United Irish Society which met here in the 1790s, the Society of Friends which hosted Frederick Douglass and still meets on this street, and the Irish Film Institute, a cultural hub of Dublin. Acts of commemoration such as this serve to remind us that while slavery was abolished in the United States, racism persists and needs to be opposed vigorously in all countries including our own.’

City Council honours Anna Parnell

Photograph of Dr Margaret Ward, Lord Mayor Alison Gilliand, and Lucy Keaveney, at the unveiling of a Dublin City Council commemorative plaque honouring Anna Parnell.

Anna Parnell, the founder of the Ladies Land League, has been honoured by a Dublin City Council Commemorative Plaque.

The plaque was unveiled by Lord Mayor Alison Gilliland at AIB Bank, O’Connell Street, Dublin, the headquarters of the Ladies’ Land League in 1881/82.

A feminist and a radical, Anna Parnell was born at the family estate in Avondale, Wicklow, in 1852. The younger sister of Home Rule leader Charles Stewart Parnell, she became organising secretary of the Ladies’ Land League in 1881. Over 500 branches of the ladies Land League were founded, and with the banning of the Irish National Land League in October 1881, Anna Parnell and her female colleagues led the ‘No-Rent’ campaign. Anna travelled around the country, encouraging women to organise independently of men to resist unjust rents.

The Kilmainham Treaty led to the ending of the ‘No-Rent’ campaign, and Charles Stewart Parnell and the National Land League leadership put pressure on Anna and her colleagues to take on a purely charitable role. Anna resisted this and following the dissolution of the Ladies Land League in August 1882, she never spoke to her brother again.

Anna Parnell spent her final years living under a pseudonym in Devon, England, were she died in a drowning accident on 20th September 1911, at the age of 59.

The plaque, unveiled at an event on Monday 20th September, was proposed by retired teacher Lucy Keaveney, who was also the catalyst for the Government-funded restoration of Anna Parnell’s grave in 2017.

Speaking at the unveiling, Lord Mayor Alison Gilliland remarked: ‘Anna Parnell does not feature prominently in the many history books that tell the story of the tumultuous events of 19th century Ireland. That is an omission, and this plaque is a small but significant step in giving her due recognition. At a basic level, this plaque tells people that Anna Parnell worked here; but it does more than that. It tells all who see it that Anna Parnell is worthy of being formally honoured by the City of Dublin, by the people of Dublin, and on our capital’s principal street.

The decision to erect the plaque was made by the Dublin City Council Commemorations & Naming Committee, whose chair, Councillor Michael Mac Donncha, said: ‘The Commemorative Plaques scheme allows the City to formally commemorate people who have made a significant contribution to the life of Dublin. This is only the fifth of our commemorative plaques to honour a woman, and we hope to see many more such applications in the future’.

Parnell, Anna – founder of the Ladies’ Land League

Photograph of a Dublin City Council plaque commemorating Anna Parnell

This plaque commemorates Anna Parnell, feminist, activist, and founder of the Ladies’ Land League, at the offices of the Leaguea t 37/38 O’Connell Street Upper, now AIB Bank.

Locate this plaque on Google maps.

A feminist and a radical, Anna Parnell was born at the family estate in Avondale, Wicklow, in 1852. The younger sister of Home Rule leader Charles Stewart Parnell, she became organising secretary of the Ladies’ Land League in 1881. Over 500 branches of the ladies Land League were founded, and with the banning of the Irish National Land League in October 1881, Anna Parnell and her female colleagues led the ‘No-Rent’ campaign. Anna travelled around the country, encouraging women to organise independently of men to resist unjust rents.

The Kilmainham Treaty led to the ending of the ‘No-Rent’ campaign, and Charles Stewart Parnell and the National Land League leadership put pressure on Anna and her colleagues to take on a purely charitable role. Anna resisted this and following the dissolution of the Ladies Land League in August 1882, she never spoke to her brother again.

Anna Parnell spent her final years living under a pseudonym in Devon, England, were she died in a drowning accident on 20th September 1911, at the age of 59.

The plaque was unveiled on 20th September 2021 by Lord Mayor Alison Gilliland.

Gardaí honoured by Commemorative Plaque

photograph of Garda Commssioner Drew Harris, Ms Mari HYland, and Councillor Mary Freehill, at the unveiling.

Dublin City Council is proud to unveil a plaque to honour two An Garda Síochána detectives who were killed in the line of duty, 81 years ago today. The commemorative plaque was unveiled on the morning of 16th August, 2021, at the building on Rathgar Road where the two men lost their lives. The plaque was proposed by the men’s surviving families and by Gardaí from Rathmines Station.  

Detective Sergeant Patrick McKeown, from Armagh, and Mayo-born Detective Garda Richard Hyland, were both shot during a raid at 97A Rathgar Road, on 16th August 1940.  

Shortly before 8 a.m. on 16th August, 1940 a group of five detectives, under the command of Detective Sergeant Patrick McKeown, carried out a search in Rathgar Road, Dublin, under the provisions of the Offences against the State Act, 1939.  After gaining entry to the building, the Gardaí were surprised by a burst of gunfire from behind a partition wall. 

Detective Garda Hyland managed to discharge one shot after being wounded which warned off his surviving colleagues from entering through the front of the shop. Detective Sergeant McKeown died from his wounds the following day. Another Garda, Detective Garda Brady, was seriously wounded. 

At the event Garda Commissioner Drew Harris spoke of the two men who were killed, and the sacrifice they made when carrying out their duties.  

Commissioner Harris said, On this day 81 years ago, Detective Garda Richard Hyland and Detective Sergeant Patrick McKeown made the ultimate sacrifice to protect the State and its people.  

We know through history that on August 16th, 1940 Detective Garda Hyland and Detective Sergeant McKeown demonstrated immense bravery and performed their duties intelligently, fully knowing that there was a risk to their lives.  

The commemorative plaque being unveiled today is a fitting memorial to their sacrifice. And, later this month, An Garda Síochána will also recognise their exceptional courage and bravery by awarding the Gold Scott Medal to both men posthumously at a ceremony in Dublin Castle. 

Today’s anniversary is another reminder of each of the members of An Garda Síochána that have their lost their lives in the line of duty, and the bravery demonstrated by Gardaí on a daily basis to keep people safe.” 

Also speaking at the unveiling, Councillor Mary Freehill, paid tribute to all the Gardaí who have lost their lives on duty, noting that the plaque will serve as ‘a reminder to us all, if any were needed, of the risks that the women and men of An Garda Síochána take on our behalf as they perform their duties on the streets of Dublin’

The plaque is being unveiled to mark the 81st anniversary of the incident by Councillor Freehill, representing the Lord Mayor; Mary P. Hyland, a daughter of Detective Garda Hyland, and Garda Commissioner Drew Harris. 

The decision to erect the plaque was made by the Dublin City Council Commemorations & Naming Committee.